Clune interview

It’s a shame that Richard Clune is now out with a broken bone in his chest, as he was just starting to develop some positive buzz in training camp. From talking to people around camp, it didn’t seem to be a huge stretch to think that Clune might crack the NHL roster as that third- or fourth-line agitator/tough guy. I talked with Clune about the trade that brought him over from Dallas, and he also had some very interesting things to say about the somewhat-obvious comparisons to Sean Avery.

Clune, a third-round pick of Dallas in 2005, split time between the AHL and ECHL last season. In 38 games with Iowa of the AHL, Clune had three goals, five assists and 137 penalty minutes.

Plus, thanks to the wonder of YouTube, here are videos of Clune’s three preseason fights. The first one is from the first day of training camp, against Drew Bagnall. The other two are from Monday’s game against Phoenix, against Todd Fedoruk and Garth Murray.

Click after the videos to read the interview…



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Question: Monday was the first time that Kings fans really got a look at you. Was that pretty representative of the way you like to play?

CLUNE: “Yeah, I’m just trying to continue what I did last year in the American League. Not a lot of people know me, because we were kind of hidden in that Midwestern loop in the American League. But I just play the same way there. Fortunately I got a good opportunity here with that trade and I’m just trying to make the most of it.”

Question: How do you feel about getting traded? With most guys, it’s a mixture of disappointment and excitement. Is that how you felt?

CLUNE: “Yeah, at first I was a little surprised. I had just gone to Dallas’ rookie camp for a week, and all I was hearing was praise and how they were happy. I hadn’t always been in the best shape prior to this, but this summer I really got down to work and worked at my game and continued to do what I did last season in the American League. So it was a surprise, but it lasted for about a minute and then it was like, if L.A. wants me, that’s where I want to be. I couldn’t be happier with the trade.”

Question: Did you know much about the Kings, or follow them at all?

CLUNE: “I didn’t follow the NHL too much last year. I didn’t have enough money to get that NHL package, but I knew L.A. was kind of going through a changing of the guard. I know Mr. Lombardi wanted to instill a different philosophy than had been here prior. I know they wanted to get a little bit grittier. It’s interesting. It’s funny how things work, you know? One team lets you go and another team wants you. So it has worked out well.”

Question: There was a guy around here named Sean Avery, who played sort of an agitator-type role. Have you heard those comparisons?

CLUNE: “I’ve heard those comparisons since I was 17, going through my draft year. It’s good to be compared to him, in a way, but I don’t want to get anyone confused. Some of the stuff you hear about the guy, that’s not me. I pride myself on being a good guy in the dressing room. He might think he’s a little bit more talented and that he can get away with it, but to be honest with you, I’m really nothing without my teammates. I pride myself on being a good teammate. I’m not necessarily concerned if guys like me. I’m more concerned if guys respect me. I’m really nothing without my teammates. If you can’t stick together… Teams will never win if there are dressing-room divisions. It will never work. I may skate like the guy, hit like the guy and fight like the guy, but I think we’ve got a little bit of a different off-ice personality.”

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  • Nick

    Excellent interview, and great responses. Even if this guy never really cracks the NHL roster he’ll be an excellent player for the organization and exactly the kind of attitude we need amongst the kids.

  • Tompa

    Well that’s good to hear. Clune is definitely making a name for himself. Too bad about the injury.

  • Quisp

    Clune!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    That’s good stuff, Rich. Thanks!

  • jet

    Is there any one out there that would still bash this trade?
    I am so looking forward to seeing him line up with Carcillo. Here’s to a quick recovery.

  • Baumgartner22

    awesome! if he doesn’t make the team, i say we chip in to get him the center ice package.

  • typicaljs

    Gotta love his answer to the last question. Bright kid, knows what to say.

  • Tim

    Wow! It’s to bad that he’s hurt. Great interview Rich!

  • Duckhunter

    He’ll be back. This is all he knows how to do, this is all he knows. His livelihood depends on it. He knows his place, and the meaning of team. He will make the big boys, if not this year, next year. You have to love someone who plays the game for the right reasons, and he seems to be that kind of kid. Hope it’s not his sternum, if so, he’ll probably be missing for more than a couple weeks. Mr. Clune we wish you a speedy and full recovery. You are refreshing to watch and listen to. Good luck kid.

  • Sean Avery

    Punk

  • Model 62

    “`I didn’t follow the NHL too much last year. I didn’t have enough money to get that NHL package, but I knew L.A. ”

    If he keeps going the way he’s going, he won’t have too much trouble paying for the NHL package.

  • Anonymous

    Clune vs Avery will be fun to watch one day

  • dMan

    uhm…don’t look now, but looks like he lost all three “fights”

  • Rob

    dMan…… Its not a matter of him winning or losing every fight. Its about sending a message to your team mates that someone has their back and certain actions will not be tolerated. Its the heart that can pick up the whole team and turn things around.

  • dMan

    Rob….yes, it’s nice to show your teammates that you’re there for ‘em, but if you’re getting an ass-whopping everytime, that message gets lost pretty quick. It’s like your older brother trying to protect you from the schoolyard bully and getting his ass kicked in the process.

  • Anonymous

    He is also smaller than the guys he faces, so it is easier for them to get the upper hand and force him down. That being said, he has the guts and determination to face those guys. That spells volumes about how he is there for his team. His answers, too, told how he knows what it takes in the locker room and on the ice. Without anything specific, he told all his team mates that he will not become the cancer that Avery was. He was yapping it up with some of the fans here in PHX before the rookie camp game too, good guy.

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